6 Jun 2013

First storm of Atlantic hurricane season heading for Florida

In my blog a few days ago, I wrote about a cluster of thunderstorms in the Gulf of Mexico that had the potential to become the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Despite marginally favourable conditions for development, the cluster of thunderstorms has grown and become organised enough to be classified as a tropical storm by the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Tropical Storm Andrea is currently in the Gulf of Mexico and about to make landfall over Florida, before moving north eastwards across eastern parts of Georgia and the Carolinas on Friday.


Whilst not a hurricane, Andrea still has the potential to cause problems. In fact, one of the main issues could be heavy rainfall and flooding.

Three to six inches of rain is expected in the next 36 hours across much of Florida and south east Georgia, with a few places seeing as much as 10 inches.

Such a large amount of rain in a relatively short space of time has the potential to cause flash flooding – especially in low lying areas where water collects more readily.

Even though Andrea is just a tropical storm, winds are still packing a punch, with sustained winds of 60mph and gusts around 70mph.

As well as causing some damage on land, this strength of wind will also create some problems at sea. As the winds rotate around the storm, they will push the sea water towards the shore.

Storm surges of 2-5 feet are possible along coastal areas, with the flood risk exacerbated if it coincides with high tide.

In the longer term, Andrea will head northwards along the east coast of the US and Canada, before becoming post-tropical and heading out across the Atlantic Ocean as a normal area of low pressure.

What is interesting for us to note is that this area of low pressure may arrive to the west of the UK by the middle of next week, bringing our spell of summer-like weather to an end.

In the meantime, you can stay up to date with the progress of Tropical Storm Andrea on the National Hurricane Center website. I’ll also be posting updates on Twitter – @liamdutton

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